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A lot has happened

Date: 10/7/2005

Hello Springfield! Assistant Coach Phil Russell here!

I am very excited about providing you the ins and outs of Springfield Falcons Hockey. Each week, I look forward to previewing opponents and letting you know about the great things going on at the NEST!

A lot has happened since the Springfield Falcons “Big Brothers” hoisted the Stanley Cup in the spring of 2004. A Lockout in the NHL had forced some players to go to Europe to play and hone their skills or sit at home and wish they could be playing. A new Collective Bargaining Agreement is in place and the game is on! Two years of renovations to the old Springfield Civic Center has left us with a beautiful facility named the Mass Mutual Center. Come and have a look at this place! You will be impressed! What would Eddie Shore say about this place now?

Twenty-three prospects arrived in Traverse City, Michigan on September 5th to play in a tournament with Detroit, Minnesota, Columbus, Atlanta & Tampa. Going to a prospects camp and cracking the lineup of the defending Stanley Cup Champions is just not done, but 14 young men went on to Tampa Bay’s main camp along with a host of Springfield Falcons from last year. Coaches can tell players till they are blue in the face to be ready for camp but you have to live through a Camp Torturella…(the camp is named after Tampa Bay’s very capable and demanding coach John Tortorella).

Realistically, a young prospect looks to work his way up and earn a spot in the show. This is not an organization where things are given away freely. All the players in camp will call on courage each day to help them take the next step. Some will be determined to carry on the battle for what they believe. For some it will be easier, for some it will be more difficult. Those that are determined to be the best they can be will be at their best, fighting off disappointments with a spirited skate and passing the time with the thought that one day I’ll be in the show. Every one of us will be lucky enough to face adversity and grow because of it. It doesn’t sound like a ton of fun, and at times it is not, it is the only way though. There is no way around paying the price of success.

This article is obviously something that will take on a life of it’s own with your help. I want to know what you think in regards to your Springfield team and I will try and give you the inside scoop. We are going to be a much improved team with a clear direction and I am excited about it…Hockey, at all levels is back, SADDLE UP!

Don’t forget we open our 2005-06 season this Saturday, October 8th versus Portland Pirates at the NEW Mass Mutual Center. The players an coaching staff are looking forward to your support!!!

Contact Coach Russell at